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Stress in the workplace

This week we were asked for advice on controlling stress in the workplace to support National Stress Awareness Day. It was created by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA) to ensure that the topic of stress, its cause and prevention, would remain high on the national agenda.

Work stress is so common these days and we at 100% Health have some solutions on how to manage it and/or minimise the effects. We offer nutritious food, the right supplements to manage and help your symptoms and our in-house Nutritional Therapist, Liz Sheehan, is available every week for free advice.

Firstly, let’s explain a little about what stress is and the effect it has on your body:

Stress triggers a reaction in your nervous system. It’s your ‘fight or flight response’. It gives you a surge of adrenaline, speeding up your heart rate and getting your blood pumping to your muscles and brain giving you the extra alertness and energy you need so you can get your job done.

At the same time as these functions being powered up, other systems of your body get turned down like your bodies healing and repairing themselves, digestion and fertility.

If the stress continues over long periods of time this can lead to altered hormone function, blood sugar problems, weakened immune system, weight gain – especially around your middle – muscle tension, nutrients get depleted, lowered neurotransmitter function (panic attacks, anxiety, reduced creativity, sleep disturbances, memory and concentration problems) and eventually adrenal fatigue.

When you are stressed your body uses up particular nutrients more quickly, that can lead to deficiencies and health issues. Vitamin B, vitamin C and magnesium are the main ones that are used up. These are the building blocks of your adrenal glands where the adrenaline comes from. If you are depleted in these nutrients then you can feel tired, have tight tense muscles and lose mental alertness and concentration. You can use supplements to replace these nutrients and restore function.

Licorice found in many Pukka and Yogi tea bags is a herb that’s beneficial at nourishing your adrenal glands.

Ashwaghanda is an adaptogenic (a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalising effect upon bodily processes) herb that can boost energy and strength during the day and be calming at night.

Pukka Vitalise Powder offers lots of nutrients to help energise your body when you are feeling depleted.

 Adding ½ – 1 cup of Epsom salts and 6 drops of aromatherapy oils like lavender, chamomile, clary Sage, marjoram, vetivert or frankincense to a bath of a nighttime can really help you unwind and aid better sleep.

Rescue Remedy is another way to help you take the edge off your stress. It is a blend of five Bach Flower Remedies that are especially beneficial when you find yourself in traumatic and stressful situations.

NB: If you are on any medications please speak to a professional health care practitioner before supplementing.

Balancing your blood sugars is essential to looking after your adrenal reserves and helps to reduce cravings for stimulants such as tea, coffee, carbs and chocolate! Once energy levels are stabilised you will see your moods more balanced, better concentration throughout the day, reduced inflammation and weight loss.

Eat within 1 hour of waking, then every 2 ½ – 3 hrs with protein, good fats and fibre at each meal or snack.

Start the day with a breakfast cereal high in protein like Lizzys, Raw Health or Paleo Cereal or a protein shake.

Snack mid morning and mid afternoon on nuts and seeds with a piece of fruit. (A portion size of nuts being a palm sized amount). Alternatively a Bounce Ball, Trek or Nak’d Bar if you are on the go or make your own energy balls – have a look at this easy recipe we love.

Coming into the autumn/winter season, soups, stews and curries are a great lunch and evening meal options. They are easy on your digestive system (especially if you find it hard to unwind and your digestive system is powered down) and can be packed full of vegetables, herbs and spices to add back lots of the lost nutrients and rejuvenate your body.

Liz Sheehan our in-house Nutritional Therapist is available for a free chat about your individual needs. She is in store on a Friday between 12 and 2.30 and is also available for private consultations should you need more help.